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Poetry Foundation / John Ronan Architects

Poetry Foundation / John Ronan Architects

© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing © Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing © Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing © Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing + 36

  • Architects Authors of this architecture project John Ronan Architects
  • Area Area of this architecture project
  • Project Year Brands with products used in this architecture project
    2011
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    VMZINC

Text description provided by the architects. The new home for the Poetry Foundation is comprised of a building in dialogue with a garden which is created through erosion of an implied volume as described by the L-shaped property boundary. The garden space, which formally interlocks with the enclosed building, is conceived as another “room” of the building, and part of the building’s slowly-unfolding spatial sequence, which is revealed space by space, not unlike a poem is revealed line by line.

© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing
© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing

Visitors enter the project through the garden, an urban sanctuary that mediates between the street and enclosed building. Entering the garden, visitors perceive the double-height library space, announcing that they are entering into a literary environment. Inside the building, an exhibition gallery connects the library to the performance space, where visitors listen to poets read their work against the backdrop of the garden.

© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing
© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing

Public functions—the performance space, gallery and library—are located on the building’s ground floor, while offices space are located on the second level, organized into three areas (Foundation Administration, Poetry magazine/website, and Programs). The building is configured to allow for views from all spaces into the garden.

© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing
© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing

Tectonically, the building is conceived of as a series of layers that visitors move through and between. Layers, of zinc, glass, and wood, peel apart to define the various spaces of the building. The building’s outer layer of oxidized zinc becomes perforated where it borders the garden, allowing visual access to the garden from the street to encourage public investigation. Inside the garden, the zinc screen wall serves to internalize the garden experience and provide a sense of removal, to prepare visitors for the experience inside.

© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing
© Steve Hall/Hedrich Blessing

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Project location

Address: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Poetry Foundation / John Ronan Architects" 07 Dec 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/189339/poetry-foundation-john-ronan-architects/> ISSN 0719-8884
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